Create a Plan
Meet with your family and discuss the types the types of disasters and emergencies that are most likely to happen and what to do in each case. Explain the dangers to children and plan to share the responsibilities, working as a team. If you have in-home childcare, include the caregiver in your plan. Be sure to include your pets in your planning process. If you have to seek refuge in an emergency shelter, pets are not permitted with the exception of working animals.
Determine Where to Meet
Decide together on one place your family will meet in case of an emergency:
- Locate a place right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.
- Identify a location outside your neighborhood in case you can not return home. Make wallet cards, so everyone will know the address and phone number of the place where you are to meet. For older children, select a “safe house” in areas they frequent, where they can go until it is safe to go to the family's meeting place.
Have an Out-of-Town Contact
Ask an out-of-town friend or relative to be your contact. After a disaster, it is often easier to call long distance. Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know the contact’s phone number and cell phone number if they have one. Be aware that cell phones are often overloaded during and immediately after an emergency, so it is important to know “land line” phone numbers as well.
Have an Emergency Plan for the Mobility-Impaired
Keep support items in the same place, so they can always be found quickly. For those who have home-health caregivers, particularly for those who are bed-bound, it is essential to have an alternate plan if the home-health caregiver can not make it to you.